Monday, June 24, 2013

Getting Ready for Some Royal Baby Knitting and Crocheting!

Hi everyone!

We are one week away from the start of our Royal Baby Blanket KAL/CAL and Heather and I are getting excited! We've been working away like crazy on the squares, and are really excited to reveal the first ones to you next week!





I thought I would use this week's blog post to give you some preparatory info and general FAQ's about the KAL/CAL in case you missed it on Ravelry. If you are just joining us, make sure to read through this post for all of the info so that you are prepared for next week! Also, it's not too late to join! Just in time to order your yarn so you'll receive it by next Monday (assuming you are in the US.) So welcome everyone to the Royal Baby KAL/CAL. Here are the FAQ's I've been getting on the Ravelry group:


1) How do I "join" the KAL/CAL?


There is no official "sign up" with our KAL/CAL's. We keep it pretty informal around here. We don't clog up your inbox with excessive e-mails or require you sign anything to say your are in. If you are knitting with us, you are in. Feel free to create a "project" on Ravelry and link it to the Royal Baby Blanket KAL pattern page. This will make it easy to share your progress updates with other in the JBW group. Feel free to save the yarn photo we've posted for the picture and use that for your "pre KAL/CAL" project photo. Be sure at least read through the KAL/CAL threads on the JBW Ravelry group. This is the community we use for the KAL/CAL and will help you feel like you are actively participating with the group, even if you don't chime in.


2) Do I have to use the Royal Baby yarn?


No, purchasing the Royal Baby yarn is not required for this project. However, now is the time to decide on the yarn you will use so that you can order it in time if needed. Whether or not you are using the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted Royal Baby yarn, you'll still need a worsted weight for this project and about 1,350 yards just for the squares. That equals 6 skeins of the Lorna's Laces or 7 skeins if you'd like to add a border. That part is optional.


3) What is the gauge for this project?


The gauge for this project may vary from square to square, but the gauge we are aiming for to start is as follows:


-Knitted gauge: 20 sts = 4" in stockinette stitch on US 7 needles.


-Crocheted gauge is 16 sts = 4" in half-double crochet on a US H-8 crochet hook.


You'll want to count on using the gauge swatch yarn for the blanket so don't bother with blocking your swatch too much. Just make sure to have some other sizes of hooks and needles on hand in case your gauge varies with each different stitch type. I would say as long as you have a size smaller and a size larger, you should be fine. The gauge for each swatch will be provided with each week's directions.


4) When and where will the instructions be posted each week?


The instructions for both the knit and crochet squares will be posted each Monday morning, between 6am-8am PST, starting July 1st (that's next week!) right here on the Jimmy Beans Wool Blog.


5) How will I know what the square is supposed to look like when I'm done knitting/crocheting it?


This KAL/CAL is not set up as a complete mystery KAL/CAL like most where you have no idea what you are making. We will post a picture of each square with the directions for each one so that you can see what that set of directions are supposed to look when you are finished. I think this will help to quell any confusion that often comes with Mystery KALs and CALs.


6) Do I have to be able to knit AND Crochet to participate?


No, if you prefer to knit the whole thing or crochet the whole thing, that is totally fine. Each week we will release one crochet square and one knit square pattern. If you prefer one craft over the other, simply make two of the square of your choice. You'll still have the 12 squares needed in the end to make your blanket.


7) How can I get help with my project if I have questions?


If you haven't already, be sure to join the Jimmy Beans Wool Ravelry Group. In the group, there will be a new thread for each clue where you can ask questions. If you are too shy to post in the group or are worried your question will be missed, you can e-mail Heather and I directly depending on which square you are referring to. For knitting square questions, e-mail Kristen (at) jimmybeanswool.com and for crochet square questions, e-mail Heather (at) jimmybeanswool.com. Be sure to remove the "(at)" and put in the @ symbol. I change it for blog posts to keep spambots away. :)


You can also send a private message to JimmyBeansWool on Ravelry and the correct person will answer you, or leave a comment on the blog post itself. Either way, we are available to answer any and all questions. If your question comes to us over the weekend, you'll receive a response the following Monday since Heather and I both work Mon-Fri during JBW's business hours.


Even if you don't plan on commenting on Ravelry, I encourage all of you to at least read through the posts in the JBW Group on Ravelry before asking your questions as a lot of people do post the same questions and often the answer is already on there. If you aren't a member of Ravelry--it's free to join and even if you only use it for this KAL, it's worth it. It's definitely not required though, so no pressure. :)


8) If I plan on doing a contrasting border with my Royal Baby Yarn, what colors should I pick and how much extra yarn do I need?


This is entirely up to you depending on what yarn you choose. If you are knitting with the Royal Baby colors, here is a key of all of the colors in the two Royal Baby yarns:



Sugar and Spice: Dusk, Dobson, Fjord, and Mirth.

Snips and Snails: Chino, Dobson, Douglas Fir, and Pewter.

If you are using both colors, I would recommend either Dobson or Pewter to tie it altogether. One extra skein (beyond the 6 skeins needed for the squares) should be enough for a border.

*Please note: adding a border is completely optional and is not officially part of the KAL. Heather and I may provide some guidance and suggestions for a border for those who have decided to add one, but we've not included it as part of the pattern. I've simply provided this information for those who approached me with questions about complementary colors wanting to add a border on their own. I hope this helps, please feel free to send any questions for clarification my way.


So, I think I've covered most of the questions I've been getting about the KAL/CAL. If I missed something or this sparks more questions for you, feel free to e-mail us at the addresses specified above, leave a comment on this post, or in the Ravelry group on the Royal Baby KAL/CAL Announcement Thread. Either way, Heather and I look forward to knitting and crocheting with you all starting next Monday!

Hope you all have a great week!
Kristen

3 comments:

  1. I'm sitting this one out, because I'm still waiting for the DVDs of Game of Thrones to knit that one. haha.

    I will love watching the progress, though! Have fun!

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  2. In reference to the border, Dobson and Pewter are both out of stock and not due in for 10-12 weeks!! I am using both colors and you suggest using one of these for the border if we are. Please stock all materials needed for a KAL ahead of time as this is not good. Gus ran out of the backing fabric for the SAL too and had to sub a fabric. In the words of the Boy Scouts, be prepared please.

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  3. Hi Literary Diva,

    Thanks for your feedback. I just want to clarify a few things regarding your comments so as not to create any further confusion with other customers.

    I just checked with Gus and he confirmed that he did indeed have the backing fabric for the baby quilt kits in stock. It has never been out of stock as we did specifically stock up on colors for that purpose ahead of time. He may have been referring to his own version of the quilt that he made in which he did not cut actually enough backing fabric for the quilt sample, and instead used something else in his stash when he was finishing it up because he was pressed for time.

    As for the border on the knit and crochet baby blanket, purchasing extra yarn for that is absolutely optional and not actually an official part of the KAL/CAL. Heather and I are not planning on putting a border on our blanket. The only reason I mentioned it here was that when we first announced the KAL/CAL, I had several people ask me for color recommendations in case they wanted to add a border themselves. I only mentioned it here in order to simply provide that info for people. It's not an official part of the KAL and therefore not required. You could certainly use any color of your choosing.

    I've asked our purchasers if they can special request Lorna's to rush those two colors (Dobson and Pewter) for us and if that's possible, so we should have them back in stock before the end of the KAL/CAL. If you do still want to do a border, you could order either of those colors and we'll ship it when it arrives. Again, the border is entirely optional and there will not be instructions included in the KAL. This was at the request of several folks who were planning to add a border on their own.

    Thanks for giving us your feedback. I hope this helps to clarify some of the confusion.

    -Kristen

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